By Debbie Rogers The date had been in the diary for a few months, and it was with some excitement that we arrived at the opulent lobby of Raffles for a Festive Afternoon Tea – The Collection Afternoon Tea/Christmas Edition. Sadly the tree wasn’t up yet, it goes up on 6th December, but without a doubt, reading through the menu we knew we were in for some Festive treats. The special festive tea is available throughout December and has been carefully curated so that it has a festive theme, but also retains some of the signature touches that regular Raffle guests will love – we particularly love the high heel chocolate dessert, this time, cleverly renamed to be “Mrs Santa’s High Heels”!
Watch out for the cute and delicate bite-sized savouries! We adored the Lump Crab Meat Brioche, Avocado & Black Pepper Grapefruit, Basil, the Wild Mushroom & Walnut Duxelles with Tarragon Cream Cheese and Asparagus and fell in love with the oh so very clever and tasty Roast Winter Pumpkin & Tofu Tartlet with Tangerine Poached Raisins and Vanilla Oil.
Don’t be afraid to explore more… there’s one more savoury treat in store and it’s a real good one. Nestled on the same plate as the scones, the tasty Turkey and Onion puff is so packed full of flavour and delightfully moreish, that we want the recipe!
Served on a a typical three tiered stand, this was filled with a clever Festive assortment of treats. It’s hard not to look at the stand and think anything but Christmas! There are some traditional sweets that you would expect including a Mince Pie, a Gingerbread man but then a whole host of other dishes arrives cleverly tuned for the season.
The flapjacks had cranberries and had a holly leaf decoration. The Fruit Cake was wrapped in Santa’s Coat, There’s a marzipan sack, snow crusted stollen and beautiful Blackcurrent and cinnamon scones. Not to forget the tube of clotted cream which is a signature Raffles staple to any afternoon tea.
We started with tea, Darjeeling for me and a Green tea for my guest. Tea is served in glass teapots, with large loose leaf quality tea, proper strainers (a must for afternoon tea) and timers so we knew how long to let the leaves stand. – and we love that! We ended on a high with a gorgeous iced coconut coffee which which not too sweet and tasted great. On offer also is mulled wine, which we didn’t try and bubbles for those who want to add some festive fizz to their day.
Festive Wrapping Up
Can you tell we loved our afternoon tea? Traditional yet fun, quirky and delightfully elegant – we are already planning on going back!
From 1st – 24th December 2016, there will be a special wall-sized advent calendar full of gifts for guests taking Afternoon Tea in Raffles Salon with opportunities to win some amazing gifts.
Details : Afternoon Tea is priced at AED 249 per couple, and includes a choice of coffee or tea, and an optional glass of mulled grape. For AED 449 per couple, the Festive Afternoon Tea also includes a glass of bubbly per person.
Christmas Festive Market
On 16th December 2016 , the Raffles Gardens will be transformed into a Christmas Market with live music, craft and gift stalls from local suppliers as well as festive food and beverage stands. Entry is free with pay as you go option for further purchases. There’s also a Festive Brunch – the Garden Brunch, with unlimited access to the outdoor festive food and beverage stands in the market.
The Garden Brunch is priced at AED 235/person including soft beverages, or AED 385 for house beverages and all Raffles Brunch guests enjoy unlimited access to the food and beverage stalls in The Garden until 4:30pm. For more info: www.raffles.com/dubai